Friday, November 9, 2018

Leadership Delegation

Delegation is an important leadership action. However, it’s critical to fully understand what can and can’t be delegated. In order for a leader’s subordinates to be fully empowered, the leader must delegate their authority. This is the reason a military policeman, with a low rank of private, can detain, ticket, and even arrest a colonel on a military base. Specifically, the commanding general of the base has delegated their authority to the military police.

However — and this is crucial to understanding leadership theory — a leader can never delegate responsibility. If a leader could delegate responsibility then no leader would  be held accountable. If this wasn’t the case, and responsibility could be delegated, then if a leader ever found themselves in a pickle they could simply claim they had delegated responsibility to their subordinate.

Failed leaders who don't understand this are easy to spot since they are quick to blame and they frequently throw their direct reports under the bus, which creates zero loyalty. It doesn’t maintain a responsibility to the long term.

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